Social Media Your Purchase With the Advent Essay

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Sources: 7
  • Subject: Education - Computers
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #80503096

Excerpt from Essay :

Social Media your purchase.

With the advent of social media websites, many business administrators struggle to implement a workable and feasible approach of implementing social networking sites into their business models. Managers and consultants must work collaboratively to identify sound means of incorporating computerized technologies that support and foster profitable utilization of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Yet, despite the widespread and pervasive consumption of social media, many business owners simply fail to understand what social media involves, and, more importantly, how to successfully involve social media resources into their businesses.

This paper will first define and describe social media, explain how social media differs from similar concepts, such as User Generated Content and Web 2.0, explain the importance of social media inclusion in today's business models, and provide a viable approach to implementing the requisite and necessary tools to maximize customer satisfaction with social media outlets at a small airport.

Introduction:

For most of the 20th century, people acquired information, news, education and entertainment, through traditional means of media; newsprint, television, film, and radio. These traditional media outlets are, for the most part, highly dependent on the availability of specialized resources for creation and marketing; not everyone can afford to produce a television show, a radio talk show, or a newspaper without significantly vested resources. Toward the end of the 20th century, these types of industrialized media outlets were becoming usurped by internet-based communications while people began to explore internet-based options for media consumption activities as the pervasiveness of internet-based technologies increased exponentially. Relatively inexpensive and easily accessible modes of communication became mainstream as people of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic status realized the unique characteristics of social media resources; the ability to publish and access information instantly, and to communicate over great distances in an asynchronous environment.

A recent addition to the gamut of communication modalities is the so called "Computer-Mediated Communication" whereby "a wide range of technologies that facilitate both human communication and the interactive sharing of information through computer networks, including e-mail, discussion groups, newsgroups, chat, instant messages, and Web pages" (Barnes, 2003, p. 4). These computer generated communications are becoming increasingly more frequent in our technological society.

Hybels & Weaver (2007) note two distinctly important and unique attributes to Computer-Mediated Communication; it is both asynchronous and provides a type of social leveling that allows all individuals an equal position because social status cues are not apparent. Examples of Computer-Mediated Communication include communicating via text messages, through email, or social networking internet sites such as Facebook or MySpace.

Social media is both a recent addition to the influx of interactive online technologies and an instant mainstay in popular culture. Given the ubiquitous distribution of social media in the last decade, it is imperative that business operators understand and appreciate the importance of social media resources. Further, business investors and operators alike must recognize the advertising and promotional opportunities available from implementing and maintaining a social media-friendly business.

What is social media?

While there seems to be little consensus as to what, exactly, "social media" means, Kaplan & Haenlein (2010, pg. 61) define Social Media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content." According to Lawerence (2010) "94% of executives report that they are using Web 2.0 technologies to boost their internal communications specifically for: managing knowledge (83%), fostering collaboration across the company (78%), enhancing company culture (74%), and training (71%)." While only 87% of business executives utilize Web 2.0 applications and tools for interfacing, 73% say their goal is to improving customer service, 71% do it to acquire new customers in existing markets, 53% to generate customer participation in product development, 53% to let customers interact, and 23% for other customer interactions (Lawerence, 2010)

Social media, then, is primarily a means to maintain social interactions utilizing widely available and highly scalable internet publishing tools. Using web-based technologies to create a venue for interactive discourse and dialogues, social media sites provide end users the ability to create and generate media-based content and utilize the vast resources available in internet-based forums. As a type of "consumer-generated media," then, social media allows individuals to tailor-fit the type of information as well as the delivery of information sought. In this way, technology and social attributes contribute to a value-laden creation by the end user; the customer is the consumer and creator of their own consumption.

"The growing availability of high-speed Internet access further added to the popularity of the [Social Media], leading to the creation of social networking sites such as MySpace (in 2003) and Facebook (in 2004). This, in turn, coined the term "Social Media," and contributed to the prominence it has today" Kaplan & Haenlein (2010, pg. 60).

Social Media Marketing

Stelzner (2010, pg. 7) notes that "the number-one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%).

Stefanone et al. (2010, pg. 511) writes that "the explosion in popularity of Social Networking Sites represents one of the fastest uptakes of a communication technology since the web was developed in the early 1990s."

Stefanone et al. (2010, pg. 511) writes that academic research on Social Networking Sites "is growing, with focus on a range of issues including privacy….identity and reputation…. And the role these sites play in relationship maintenance and the accumulation of resources like social capital."

Stefanone et al. (2010, pg. 511) writes that Social Networking sites "typically allow an individual to connect his/her personal profile to the profiles of other users, resulting in a public display of one's entire (online) social network."

Laidler (2010) observes that "blogs have greater potential for organic leads because their content-rich nature makes them more search engine friendly." This is an important consideration as search engines, such as Google.com, give a higher page rank to content-rich content than other, less content-rich webpages. This, of course, suggests that business managers should strongly consider utilizing one of the several blogging tools available to increase business visibility and recognition. Laidler (2010) correctly suggests that "social media efforts should lead back to your blog or website, which should be dynamic and informative, providing content and information that encourages visitors not only to return, but to distribute your content to their network."

Stelzner (2010, pg. 2) writes that "Social media…represents a marketing opportunity that transcends the traditional middleman and connects companies directly with customers." This marketing opportunity, of course, has the potential to drastically increase business reputation and, therefore, should be a necessary consideration for all neophyte entrepreneurs. Without the ability to connect to people, to customers, in meaningful ways and across several modalities, business operators will lose "wallet share" to those business personnel who recognize the clear benefits of online social networking. Stelzner (2010, pg. 16) notes that "even with a minimal time investment, the vast majority of marketers (78% or higher) indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their business." Perhaps even of more import is the relative time necessary to realize significant progress. "Nearly all marketers who've been employing social media marketing for years report it generates exposure for their business and a significant 62.4% strongly agree." Stelzner (2010, pg. 16).

"53.1% of people who've only invested a few months with social media marketing report new partnerships were gained." Stelzner (2010, pg. 16).

"A key challenge to such efforts is the fact that the quantity and quality of non-verbal (or nontextual) social cues available to computer-mediated communication

(CMC) participants changed continuously since scholars first began examining them" explains Stefanone et al. (2010, 506).

"Rather than allowing users to experiment and play with their identity, many of today's CMC technologies tie users ever closer to their offline, physical selves. As new communication platforms diffuse throughout a population, navigating a social environment comprised of mediated identities becomes an increasingly important communication skill." (Stefanone et al., 2010, pg. 508).

Social networking sites, including BlinkList, YouTube, Delicious, Flickr, Tumblr, BlogMarks.net, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn….provide an opportunity to strategically network and close deals based on shared interests and personal engagement." (Laidler, 2010)

However, Laidler (2010) notes that social networking sites do much more than just allow people to share similar interests; they allow users to advertise and promote products and services, to create and saturate brand recognition, as well as to build business relationships and create and foster a sense of community by soliciting for feedback. As such, users "also have unprecedented access to consumers, hiring managers, prospective clients, industry experts, and opportunities." (Laidler, 2010).

Stelzner (2010, pg. 7) notes that "the number-one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%).

Stelzner (2010, pg. 5) writes that "Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs [are] the top four…

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